The Spirit of Goodwill Band

If you ask the members of The Spirit of Goodwill Band what they have wanted all their life it’s one thing; that the world could see their talent. The vocalists and musicians in the band have various physical, intellectual, and psychological disabilities. The members of the band wanted to break down barriers and show what they could accomplish if given the chance, and they did.

"The Spirit of Goodwill" Band is a music program to improve the social and recreational skills, community integration, and personal adjustments for people with disabilities.

Given the opportunity to develop their full potential the remarkable members of The Spirit of Goodwill Band overcame many of their challenges so that they could inspire others. Their performances provide a positive message to the world about people with mental and physical challenges, highlighting the best of their abilities. For years they have made music that inspires others to overcome their own struggles.

The program sprang into action in 1987. Through a partnership with rehabilitation professionals and personalized instruction, participants gained the confidence, knowledge and skills to play a variety of instruments. The band occasionally performs at events outside of Goodwill and their performances provide a positive message about people with disabilities. The band participants work at Goodwill jobs and receive training and employment services designed to help them achieve work skills.

The musical experience has had a profound impact on the participants' lives, helping them develop confidence and feel that they are part of something bigger that gives them an enormous feeling of accomplishment and pride from the joy and satisfaction of making music.

For Once In My Life Documentary: Featuring the Spirit of Goodwill Band

An award-winning inspiring story about the greatness within each of us.

Genre: Musical Documentary   •   Run time: 90 Minutes

The "Spirit of Goodwill" band plays for the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami.

For Once in My Life.

An uplifting documentary takes an inspiring look at a unique band of singers and musicians who have a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities and the dream to make music. The story reveals the performers’ struggles and triumphs, as well as their significant challenges while on a journey to become true musicians and perform to large audiences. With passionate concert footage and intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses into the band members’ lives, the film paints a heart-warming portrait of what people with disabilities can do when given a chance.

“Uplifting… this group makes beautiful music together.” — Los Angeles Times

“This uplifting, crowd-pleasing documentary, will rouse audiences.” — Variety Magazine


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This film is unrated • Released by Big Blue Box Productions, Inc. Please note that prices, terms, and information are subject to change.


The documentary was filmed at Goodwill Industries of South Florida in Miami.


  • SXSW Film Festival: Audience Choice Award
  • Sarasota Film Festival: Audience Choice Award
  • Sonoma Film Festival: Best Documentary Award
  • Boulder International Film Festival: Winner
  • Nashville Film Festival: Audience Choice Awards and Special Jury Award for Music Impact. 
  • Port Townsend Festival: Best Feature Documentary Award
  • Heartland Film Festival: Audience Choice Award
  • Rincón Internacional Film Festival Puerto Rico: Winner Award
  • Media Award Barbara Jordan: Best TV Documentary 2011
  • International Documentary Association [ida]: Best Music Documentary

Selected and screened in New York and Los Angeles by the International Documentary Association’s (ida) DocuWeeks August 2010.

Invited to screen at a variety of film festivals globally: China, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Netherlands, etc.